Four humanitarian workers kidnapped in Iraq

Two Canadians, a Briton and an American held hostage in Iraq.

iraq 88 (photo credit: )
iraq 88
(photo credit: )
Four humanitarian workers, including two Canadians, a Briton and an American, were kidnapped in Iraq, a Canadian government official said Sunday. A British government official identified Norman Kember as the missing Briton. The British Foreign Office said Kember was involved in the incident Saturday, but provided no further details. Sky Television reported that Kember comes from north London. Canadian authorities confirmed that two of the kidnapped workers are Canadian, but gave no names. It was not immediately clear which relief organization the four were working for. Dan McTeague, parliamentary secretary for Canadians abroad, said the incident happened on Saturday, but refused to name the organization the two Canadians worked for or the location where they were kidnapped. He said he wouldn't release those details in order to protect the safety of the individuals involved. McTeague said the organization has not requested any assistance at this time. There are reports that the other two workers are British and American, but McTeague could not confirm it. The British foreign office and the US Embassy in Baghdad both said they were aware of the reports of missing nationals and were investigating it. McTeague said the organization contacted embassy officials in Amman, Jordan. Canada doesn't have an embassy in Iraq yet. "Our ability to provide assistance is limited," McTeague said. Rebecca Johnson of an organization called Christian Peacemakers couldn't confirm whether or not their workers were the ones kidnapped. "We're investigating," Johnson said. She said they have a team of four to six people in Baghdad. The Canadian government has advised since April of 2004 that Canadians, including humanitarian workers, should not to travel to Iraq. "Under no circumstances are Canadians encouraged to travel to Iraq at this time. The situation remains both dangers and volatile," McTeague said. "This stands as one of the many reasons why we've discouraged Canadians." At least four Canadians have been kidnapped since 2003, including a man who was killed in August. Hundreds of foreigners and Iraqis have been seized by insurgents fighting to drive US-led forces out of the country. Canada has not contributed troops to the coalition forces in Iraq.
More about:Iraq, Amman, London, Jordan